Epping Forest District Council has elected Councillor Penny Smith, ward member for Broadley Common, Epping Upland and Nazeing, as its new Chairman. The Annual Meeting of Epping Forest District Council began with outgoing Council Chairman, Councillor John Knapman thanking Councillors and staff for all their support during his year of office. He announced that he had raised more than £40,000 for his Chairman`s Charities. He concluded by thanking his wife Debbie and Vice-Chairman Councillor Penny Smith for all their support.
Councillor Di Collins, Leader of Council led praise for Councillor Knapman. Her comments were echoed by Liberal Democrat Group Leader Jon Whitehouse and BNP Group Leader Pat Richardson.
Councillor Knapman added that he was very proud of the Council and its Members. Following an invitation for nominations, Councillors Di Collins and Stephen Murray proposed Councillor Penny Smith as the new Chairman of Council, describing her fairness, competence and respect across the Council. Councillors unanimously agreed.
Councillor Smith thanked Members for the honour and announced that the Alzheimer`s West Essex Branch, based in Waltham Abbey which operates across the District will be the Chairman`s Charity for the forthcoming year. She asked Members to continue to provide the levels of support enjoyed by Councillor Knapman. One of her first fund-raising events will be the Annual Members and Officers Golf Day at Chigwell Golf Club on Tuesday 16 June. Not being a golfer, Councillor Smith will be offering her services as a Caddy for the day.
Councillor Smith invited nominations for Vice-Chairman. Councillor David Stallan proposed his Cabinet and North Weald colleague, Councillor Anne Grigg, seconded by Councillor Brian Rolfe. Mrs Grigg accepted the nomination, promising to serve with integrity and enthusiasm.
Councillors then moved to the appointment of the new Leader, Cabinet and Committee appointments.
Councillor Di Collins was re-elected as Council Leader and Chairman of the Cabinet. The Cabinet has been reduced from nine members to eight following the appointment of former Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder Councillor Anne Grigg as Vice-Chairman.
Leader – Councillor Di Collins
Finance and Economic Development – Councillor Chris Whitbread
Leisure and Wellbeing – Councillor Heather Harding
Community Safety and Transport – Councillor Syd Stavrou
Performance Management – Councillor Richard Bassett
Environment – Councillor Mary Sartin
Housing – Councillor David Stallan
Legal and Estates – Councillor Mitch Cohen
Councillor Richard Morgan was re-elected Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Brian Sandler will continue to Chair meetings of the District Development Control Committee. Councillor Richard Bassett became the first Chairman of the new Local Highways Panel.